Opening a free online checking account could be the key to unlocking a healthier relationship with your finances. Bank fees, ATM charges and other banking-related costs can quickly add up. After all, who wants to pay a monthly fee just for keeping their money in a safe place?
Depending on the types of bank accounts available to you, you may be able to open a free online bank account without those pesky monthly maintenance charges. You may even qualify for other perks and cost-saving benefits. Read on to learn more about how free checking accounts can help you become more financially sound.
Depending on the types of bank accounts you use, you could be paying hefty monthly fees. Even if you have an account with benefits, like mobile banking or early deposit, you could rack up a ton of fees just in monthly maintenance costs.
The following types of bank accounts typically come with monthly charges:
- Business checking accounts
- Interest-earning checking accounts
- Cash-back checking accounts
- Money market accounts
- Credit union accounts
If your bank has a monthly fee, it will be automatically deducted from your account. Some financial organizations might also charge fees for certain transactions in addition to the monthly charge.
The most common banking fees include the following:
- Monthly maintenance service fee – This is a monthly charge for holding an account with the bank. However, many banks offer free checking accounts if you meet certain conditions, such as setting up a direct payroll deposit or maintaining a minimum daily balance.
- Insufficient funds fee – Without overdraft protection, the banks may charge a fee if you try to take out more money than what is in the account. This often results in declined debit card purchases, bounced checks, and stopped ATM withdrawals (if they exceed the account balance).
- Overdraft fee – Overdraft protection allows you to use excess funds to complete the transaction, like a debit card purchase. However, the bank may charge you a fee for doing so. Banks may issue overdraft fees per transaction or per day the account is overdrawn.
- Stop payment fee – If you try to avoid an overdraft or otherwise need to stop a payment, such as a check, the bank might charge you a fee. Stop payment fees are usually less than overdraft or insufficient fund fees.
- Excessive transaction fee – Some bank accounts have limited transactions, which means you could be charged for each transaction over the allowed amount.
- Excess cash deposit fee – Banks can limit the amount of cash deposits per billing period. After reaching the cash deposit threshold, you may pay a fee for each subsequent deposit.
- Out-of-network ATM fee – Your bank could charge you a fee for using an ATM that is not part of your bank. Even if your bank waives out-of-network ATM fees, you may still need to pay a few bucks to the ATM’s organization. ATM fees vary by financial institution and location.
- Money (wire) transfer fee – Banks often have fees for expedited services. Wire transfers move available funds faster than other electronic transfers, but usually cost between $16 and $35.
Free checking accounts mean that you do not pay a monthly maintenance charge. Some no fee checking accounts also waive some of the above common charges.
For instance, Ally – a non-brick-and-mortar bank – does not charge out-of-network ATM fees and reimburses you for up to $10 each month for fees from other financial organizations. Next, find out how to find a free online bank account with little to none of the common banking fees.